I finally took Playstation Home for a spin last night.
My first impression of Home was not that great. Even though the initial loading time was bearable, connecting to it was a hassle. I got connection errors the first two times I attempted to log on and when I finally did, I had to wait for a download of a small file.
I finally got to the character customization screen, which was quite easy to use but because of the limited number of hairstyles and clothes Home looked more like Cloneworld to me. I know that this is still in beta but hopefully for the final release more styles will be opened for users. I don’t really care about the clothes as much as personal appearance since I’m just a T-shirt and jeans guy anyway.
Controlling my avatar was very instinctive and the preprogrammed movements can be quite funny at times especially the dance moves. One niggle I have is that every time you go to a certain place outside your “home” you’ll have to download it initially. This can be quite a disconnected experience. It’s a good thing that you also have a “download in background” mode but then you feel like your avatar is under house arrest because it can’t do anything without downloading the file first.
I downloaded the plaza to my PC and had my first Home “interactive” experience. I nice girl from Texas (Whiteturtle, hope I got it correctly) talked to me (my handle is indie2004) and we got to discuss some stuff about the music that we listen to. But here’s where the potential catastrophic problem of Home lies — a bunch of guys started buzzing around Whiteturtle and began typing some initially innocuous stuff that slowly turned nasty. In addition to this, some guys with a headset were also saying some inappropriate things to her. The big discrepancy of females and males meant that most of the guys start acting like peacocks on Viagra trying to get the attention of the girls. I don’t know what they wanted to happen — it’s not like you can really hook up with anyone virtually. Even the Playstation 3 is not that powerful to do that. I made some asinine comment about their behavior and these two guys started harassing me verbally. If Home had been like GTAIV, I’d have been beaten up already. Some kind of moderation is desperately needed inside Home’s virtual world. But with the high rate of tweens and immature college-types this is going to be a big problem for Sony. I hope there’s going to be a room for the more civilized PS3 owners to mingle.
Overall, Home was a shallowly interesting experience. It really is like Sims Online but for those who want decent conversation, it may be hard to find it. What you’ll find though are a lot of rude people.
Here’s hoping that Sony sells a very expensive Kratos power pack so I can smite down those foulmouthed idiots.